Chocolate-Covered “Indian” Cupcakes


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Appears in

Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafes of Vienna, Budapest, and Prague


By Rick Rodgers

Published 2002

  • About

Indianers, chocolate-glazed orbs of sponge cake filled with a swirl of whipped cream, are one of the most scrumptious pastries a café can offer. Indianerkrapfen molds are commonplace in Austria but are not available here. Against the advice of my Viennese friends, and on the recommendation of some otherwise reliable cookbooks, I spent many frustrating hours trying to make free-form globes of cake. Beaten, I consulted my friend Karitas, who suggested that I use a Danish ebelskiver (apple dumpling) pan, which is available at many kitchenware shops and is exactly the right size and shape. In a pinch, fill muffin tins three-fourths full, but you will only get eight or nine cakes, and your Indianer won’t have the perfectly round shape that makes these cakes so distinctive.



  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 large eggs, separated, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Glaze

  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

Whipped Cream Filling

  • cups heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract



  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 400°F. Lightly butter and flour the cups of an ebelskiver pan, tapping out the excess flour.
  2. To make the cakes: Sift the flour, cornstarch, and salt together. Beat the egg whites in a medium bowl with a handheld electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the sugar and beat until the peaks are stiff and shiny.
  3. Place the egg yolks and vanilla in a medium bowl. Sift about half of the flour mixture on top and beat with the mixer on medium speed, just until smooth. Add one fourth of the whites into the yolks and mix. Fold in the remaining whites, just until barely combined. Sift the remaining flour mixture on top, and fold in until smooth. Divide half of the batter evenly (about 3 tablespoons for each) among the cups, filling almost to the brim. Cover the remaining batter in the bowl with plastic wrap.
  4. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centers of the cakes comes out clean, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool in the pan for 3 minutes. Run the tip of a sharp knife around the cakes to release them, then remove from the cups. Cool completely on a wire rack. (The unfilled cakes can be prepared up to 1 day ahead, stored at room temperature in an airtight container.) Rinse the ebelskiver pan (don’t use soap or you’ll remove the pan’s natural nonstick seasoning), then dry, butter, and flour the pan, and repeat with the remaining batter.
  5. To make the chocolate glaze: Bring the ½ cup of cream to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Let stand for 3 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Let stand until slightly cooled, about 10 minutes.
  6. To make the filling: In a chilled medium bowl, beat the cream, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  7. To assemble the cupcakes using a small serrated knife, slice the tops off the cakes, keeping the bottom slices about inch thick. Pull out the insides of the domed tops, leaving ⅛-inch shells. Brush the insides of the shells and the cut sides of the bottom slices with the warm apricot glaze. Set aside until the glaze is cooled and set.
  8. Place the shells, cut sides down, on a wire rack set over a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Spoon the warm chocolate glaze over the top of each, letting the excess glaze run down the sides. If desired, use a metal spatula to scrape up the glaze, and drizzle over the shells to give them a second coat. Refrigerate the shells to set the glaze.
  9. Transfer the whipped cream to a pastry bag fitted with a 9/16-inch-wide open-star tip such as Ateco Number 825. Pipe a tall swirl of cream onto each base. Use a small metal spatula to lift and place a shell over each base and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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